Planning how you’ll communicate and find customers for your small business is an important first step. But once you’re all set with tools for your small business website, your social media profiles, and your email marketing campaigns, it’s time to get down to step number two: selling stuff!
This is a great time to be a small business owner offering a product or service. Technology has made leaps and bounds toward allowing smaller operations to compete with big brands that can afford big brick and mortar locations. There are lots of tools out there to help you market and collect payment for whatever you have to sell. Today we’ll talk about two popular solutions: Etsy and Square.
This is a great option for businesses that offer a physical product for sale. One advantage of using Etsy to sell your items is the brand equity that you can leverage. While similar operations exist where small businesses can list their products, Etsy has developed a reputation for having unique, quality goods. It’s handy to be able to piggyback on that kind of branding.
How does it work?
Etsy accepts three kinds of products. Handmade goods, vintage items (20 years or older), and supplies. If your product fits these categories, you’re good to go. There is no membership fee to be a part of the Etsy community. The company makes their money when you list a product ($0.20 per item) and when it sells (3.5% fee). This is a helpful model for small businesses that don’t have a lot of capital to spend upfront.
If you’re a Webs user, you’ll be happy to know that you can easily integrate your Etsy shop into your full company website. While Webs does offer a robust ecommerce platform of our own, we know that a lot of small businesses already have an Etsy shop in place. That’s why we offer the Etsy app that will pull all of your information in to your website seamlessly — like images, descriptions, and pricing.
If you offer something that can be sold in person instead of online, Square is a great relatively new option to consider. Available for iOS and Android devices, it can be used to collect payment for products or services anywhere you may be. There is also a Register option (for tablets) if you do have a permanent place to hang your business’ hat.
How does it work?
When you sign up for an account with Square, you’ll receive a free (and pretty adorable) little square card reader that plugs into your device. Then you will need to decide which of their two pricing models works for you. If you don’t have a solid idea of how much volume you’re going to sell, the per swipe plan is probably right for you (2.75% of the sale). If you know that you’ll be doing a whole lot of swiping, save yourself a nasty surprise and go with the fixed price model ($275 per month).
There are a number of payment options available to small business owners, and more are being conceived all the time. Do a little research and find the right service for you. And if you do find a great service we didn’t mention here, please come back and let us know about it in the comments!
Read The Series: Your Small Business Toolkit
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- Photo Editing Options For Small Business Owners
- Tools For Small Business Owners with Something to Sell
- New Social Media Management Tool from Pagemodo
- Getting Started with Email: You Need Professional Help
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- Your Most Important Tool: A Small Business Website
- Your Small Business Toolkit: Resources for Busy Entrepreneurs